I’m constantly reflecting on my blogging journey and how far I’ve come since starting my first blog in 2018 and being consistent with travel blogging in 2022. I always say that I love what I’m doing because, despite the lows and challenges I’ve encountered, I always want to improve and learn more.
Here are 12 lessons I’ve learned from my blogging journey with a dash of encouragement that I hope you can apply to yours.
Putting Yourself Out There is Scary, but the Rewards Are Much Greater
Feeling scared to start is valid. I remember being scared to show my face in my videos and to do voiceovers because it felt like I was exposing myself.
Not even two months after “doing it scared”, a popular travel brand reached out to me to pay me to create content because they loved my style of creating reels.
Once I stopped being scared, I started to attract the opportunities I had dreamed of as a nano blogger.
I know so many people who don’t start creating content or writing blog posts because they are scared of being judged, failing, not being good enough, and having to share too much of themselves.
Do it scared anyway! I get anxious almost every time I have to post or publish a piece of content, whether a picture or a blog post.
The posts I worry the most about are usually the ones that perform the best.
Remember, you’ll never know what’s waiting for you on the other side if you don’t try.
You Will Be Ignored, Overlooked, and Dismissed, but Don’t Let That Discourage You
As I continued to grow and build my brand and platform(s), there were definitely times when I experienced feelings of being rejected by other people in my niche or like I was invisible.
When you’re just starting out, you may not get the exposure you are hoping for.
Keep showing up anyways.
One day you’ll look up, and some of your favorite creators and industry leaders within your niche will see you. It’s honestly such a small part of things.
Try not to focus too much on who is paying attention and who isn’t. It’s a distraction and so much wasted time worrying about who sees you.
Focus on the people already supporting you. Often they are the ones who will keep you going when you’re ready to give up.
Blogging is An Industry Where You Put in A Lot of Work for Very Little Reward Most of the Time
People see the features, the brand collaborations, and free hotel stays for me as a travel blogger but don’t understand what it takes and the work put in to get to this point.
For every sponsored experience I receive, there are probably 10-15 that came directly out of my pockets because I genuinely wanted to experience it and share my findings with my audience.
There’s a reason why many bloggers and creators say not to start for money or free stuff. It’s a very small part of this blogging thing and something that takes time to achieve.
The truth is with blogging, you may never get recognized for most things you do, and you have to be okay with that. Your love for what you share has to be greater than the “perks,” or else it won’t be sustainable.
Invest In Yourself, but Make Investments that Make Sense for Your Brand
There will come a point in your blogging journey where you have to open your wallet and financially invest in your craft to take your brand to the next level.
I was willing to invest $4,000 on my website design because this space is what I’ve cared about the most. After analyzing my personal circumstances and goals as a blogger, it made sense for me, but it may not make sense for you.
For example, buying editing software for $400 would not make sense for me as a creator whose main focus is blog writing, but it may make sense for a content creator whose primary focus is Youtube content.
Last year I invested in a blogging course to go back to the basics and learn the elements of blogging like SEO, terms and conditions, etc. that I never had exposure to.
Claim Your Title As A Blogger
I went through a stage in my blogging journey where it was so difficult to tell people that I was a blogger and a writer.
At that time, I felt like I was an imposter because I didn’t have the numbers.
I wasn’t sure if people would take me seriously or view my work as more of a hobby.
Last year I challenged myself to claim the title of being a blogger.
That meant when I introduced myself to people, having that title behind my name, reaching out to brands with that title, and just boldly claiming what I believed to be mine.
Once you begin to claim your title, your goals, and brand identity become stronger and clearer.
When you tell people who you are and what you do, they can now speak your name in rooms you may not even be in or connect you to specific opportunities.
Try Not to Compare Yourself to Others
This is a hard one because I feel like it comes with being a human. Whether or not you realize you’re doing it, at some point, we have all compared ourselves to someone else within our niche.
It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it can be a slippery slope mentally.
When I started to create content and blog posts that aligned with more of what I wanted to do, I stopped comparing myself.
When you know your goals as a blogger, it becomes very easy to do so.
I find that sometimes we compare ourselves to people that we have no business comparing ourselves to. Your circumstances will always be different from the next person’s.
You may be feeling down because you don’t publish blogs as much as other bloggers, yet those bloggers blog full-time, and have team members that help them get blogs out faster.
Focus on identifying your goals and what’s reasonable for you right now.
Everything else will fall into place.
Connect With Others in Your Niche
Blogging can get very lonely, but it doesn’t have to be.
Be open to meeting new people and connecting with other bloggers in your niche. You shouldn’t view other bloggers as competition because what makes you different is you.
There isn’t any competition, in my opinion, when it comes to blogging because everyone has different perspectives and experiences they can contribute to the industry.
If you’ve already started blogging, you’ve probably noticed how much people don’t understand blogging as a whole.
As a travel blogger, having to beg people like my family members to take pictures and videos of me when I visit places who don’t want to can be discouraging.
Having people in your corner who understand the behind-the-scenes and are able to relate is priceless.
Give as much as you receive, build authentic relationships, vent when needed, and talk things out. There is power in numbers.
However, not everyone has the best intentions and is willing to connect.
While it’s great to connect with people, try to discern who you choose to be open to.
Allow the connections to happen naturally.
At the beginning of my blogging journey, I would get super excited when I saw someone’s work I admired and would get a bit disappointed when I found that the energy they were reciprocating was not the same in terms of being open to connecting.
This can again lead to feelings of rejection, but please keep in mind that there are so many people out there who you will be able to click with and lean on through the highs and lows of blogging.
Focus on those people.
Stay Consistent, but Make Consistency Work for You
If you ask any successful blogger for advice and/or tips on how they got to where they are today, I can guarantee that one of the responses will be to be consistent.
After seeing amazing results with my own blog this year as a result of being consistent, it really is the truth!
However, what I’ve learned the most is that consistency can look like anything. It just has to make sense for you and your lifestyle.
I once had someone tell me that I needed to post every day to grow on social media.
I remember feeling so helpless because I knew that could never be my reality with the life I live.
Now, consistency for me looks like posting on all platforms 1x/week, but ensuring that piece of content is something I am proud of.
Whether consistency for you looks like posting 3x/week or 1x/month, you know what is best for you and your audience. Trust yourself and make consistency sustainable for you.
Detach Yourself from the Numbers Early On
These social media platforms do what they want to. You may get 10,000 views on one video and 600 on the next.
This is why I preach about focusing on the quality of your content and being happy with what you are producing instead of the numbers.
It can be extremely disappointing to deal with the inconsistency of social media algorithms and results.
The reality is that even when you spend hours editing one piece of content and it doesn’t perform well, you have to get up and do it over and over again.
Try not to focus too much on the numbers (although they matter to some extent) but on what you are trying to achieve as a blogger.
Take Yourself Seriously and Eventually, Others Will Too
This correlates with my point of claiming your title as a blogger/creator. As a beginner, it can be very intimidating and scary to claim a craft in an industry you are still trying to navigate.
Take it seriously. Introduce yourself as a blogger, keep posting and sharing your experiences, be able to explain what your brand is about and what you do, etc.
When you take yourself seriously, you teach people who you are, how to address you and how they can speak about you to others as it relates to your brand.
Don’t Be Afraid to Try New Things and Fail
Be bold, flexible, and adaptable. Don’t be afraid to stray away from your common content style and try something new.
You never know how it will perform or what your audience will be responsive to.
Don’t feel pressured to do what everyone is doing or to hop on a trend just because it has been successful for other creators.
On the other side of experimentation is either success or a lesson to take away for your brand.
Know Your Goals
Finally, it is important to know your goals as a blogger so you can constantly keep in mind what you are aiming for.
When you know your goals, you can tailor your actions and strategies to align with them.
It will also help you avoid comparing yourself to others to an extent when you see other bloggers and creators reaching certain milestones.
Oftentimes we see other people achieving goals and feel some type of way about our own progress when in reality, those aren’t even our own goals.
Stay focused and know what you want.
I sincerely wish you the best in continuing your blogger journey. Your perspective and opinions matter and deserve to be shared with the world.
Feel free to share a lesson you have learned on your own journey in the comments below or if there was any point mentioned in this point that resonated with you. ♥